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Optimizing Images for SEO – part 1

The prospect of SEO or search-engine-optimization for your website is a daunting one. Should you hire a pro? Could you try to do-it-yourself and save some money?

Both are possibilities – one will cost quite a bit and potentially get great results. The other will take up some of your time, but also start the process of adding SEO to your site.

If you have administrator access to your WordPress website then you can start by updating, resizing and renaming the images in your media library.

Step One – Naming conventions for photos and images
  1. Don’t use generic names like “img2367_600px.jpg”. It’s much better to add information to the name- IE: companyname-cityname-service or product-1.jpg. Example: “rosewood-design-surrey-interior-designer-1.jpg” Also notice: all lower case, no extra spaces, and hyphens not underscores.
  2. Since two image names can’t be exactly the same – add a sequential number to each image in the group. Number the sequence 1, 2, 3… etc.
Step Two – Change up the names a little
  1. To boost up the SEO a little, change up the name in another group of images to include a variation on your service or product. IE: “rosewood-design-surrey-landscape-design-1.jpg”
  2. Each one of your key services or offerings could be used in the naming of a set of images
Step Three – Size the photos to fit. Google likes images to be sized to fit the webpage layout, then optimized
  1. To calculate the size of space–we use a free tool called “pixel window”. This small app lays overtop your web page and can be scaled to indicate the pixel dimensions you are trying to fit.
  2. To optimize an image – use image editing software like Adobe Photoshop (subscription) or freeware like GIMP. Crop and reduce the image size to match the measurements from Pixel Window. Then save the image as a JPEG, at 72dpi, compressed for web (to a jpeg compression value of 6 or 7 if you have that option).
Step Four – upload the images

Once you have a folder of named, sized, optimized images ready to go – you can add them to your website

  1. Login to the dashboard of your website
  2. Open the media library
  3. Click on add new
  4. Drag and drop your selected images onto the WordPress page
  5. Re-link these images to the appropriate pages on the website
  6. Delete the old (now unused) images from the site. Be sure to replace the image wherever it is used on the site or you will end up with blank spaces after deleting the old ones.

The steps above are suggestions, of course there are variations to these ideas, but its a good start! The next step is to add alt tags, but more on that later.

More information on Optimizing Images for Search Engines

Yoast – yoast.com/image-seo/

Resources:

Photoshop – adobe.com

Gimp – gimp.org

Pixel Window – pixelwindow.en.softonic.com